Contributed….WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI) voted against the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, a fiscally irresponsible bill that wastes taxpayer dollars on unneeded and unwanted defense projects and programs.  “I have consistently advocated for reining in our defense spending to both save money and better equip our military with the tools they need. What we can’t do is keep over 60,000 troops stationed in Western Europe protecting us from nonexistent Cold War threats, while sending the military outdated weapons and vehicles that they don’t even want,” said Rep. Kind. “We need to provide our military with the tools it needs to protect us, and ensure that taxpayer dollars are being spent wisely on the programs and tools that work. Unfortunately, this bill didn’t meet that standard.”

The defense appropriations bill would add more than $28 billion to the Pentagon’s current budget. It includes almost $1 billion more than the Pentagon requested for shipbuilding, and spends hundreds of millions on maintaining old ships that the Pentagon has asked to have retired. It also calls for the expansion of our missile defense program even though the Pentagon says that expansion is unnecessary at this time.

“Instead of steering money toward outdated, unnecessary defense projects, we need to focus on commonsense priorities like ending the painful military base furloughs that are impacting families in Wisconsin and across the country,” concluded Kind.

In Wisconsin’s Third Congressional District, Fort McCoy is furloughing most of its 1,500 civilian employees, Volk Field is furloughing approximately 60 and Camp Williams is furloughing about 150 for one day each week until the fiscal year ends at the end of September. The furloughing of civilian employees is in response to the sequester cuts that are the result Congressional failure to reduce the national deficit. Kind has repeatedly called for Congressional action to replace sequestration in its entirety.